From Ray Rustem, Michigan Department of Natural Resources youth programs specialist:
More than 25,000! That’s how many miles that Scouts in Michigan have hiked during the first three Iron Belle Challenge events in 2015, 2016 and 2017. We’re asking Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts across the state to lace up their boots, grab their water bottles, and hit the trails to drive that number even higher for this year’s challenge June 2, which happens to be National Trails Day.
The Iron Belle Trail, stretching from Belle Isle in Detroit all the way to Ironwood, links many other trails, communities, parks and forests along its 1,221-mile hiking and 798-mile bicycling routes. That means plenty of opportunities for Scouting troops statewide to join in the outdoor fun.
We’ve seen great Iron Belle Challenge participation from the start, with Scouts hiking the trail all over the state, in Detroit, Battle Creek, Cheboygan, Marquette, Ironwood and many other places. This year, Scouts can choose not just to hike, but also can participate via water trails, equestrian trails, ORV trails –the choice of trail and method of travel is up to them.
All Scouting participants will receive commemorative patches. For an even bigger challenge, participants are invited to return to the trail Sept. 29, National Public Lands Day, to complete a stewardship activity and earn a special rocker for the patch.
3/20/2018: The Dickinson County Bike Path has been awarded a $30,000 mini-grant to help widen some of the shoulders on County Road 607, which is now formally a part of the Iron Belle Bike Trail.
Commissioner Kramer presented a Powerpoint describing the Southern Route proposal to representatives from the Michigan Department of Transportation and Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Senator Casperson's Aide, State Representative Ed McBroom, Economic Development Officials from Iron and Dickinson Counties and Governor Snyder's Liaison for the Upper Peninsula.
Along with the PowerPoint, a written proposal and 50 Resolutions of Support were submitted to Governor Snyder on behalf of the seven Southern Counties.
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